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The Ultimate One-Week Pacific Northwest Road Trip Itinerary


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Galina Michaels



Welcome to the ultimate one-week Pacific Northwest road trip itinerary! If you’re looking to explore the stunning landscapes, vibrant cities, and unique culture of the Pacific Northwest, this is the perfect guide for you. From the bustling streets of Seattle to the tranquil beauty of the San Juan Islands, this road trip will take you on a journey through some of the most breathtaking destinations in the region.


The Pacific Northwest is known for its scenic beauty, with lush forests, towering mountains, and picturesque coastlines. It’s also home to vibrant cities like Seattle and Portland, where you can experience a thriving arts scene, delicious cuisine, and friendly locals.


This itinerary is designed to be completed in one week, but you can easily adapt it to fit your schedule and interests. Whether you’re a nature lover, food enthusiast, or history buff, there’s something for everyone on this road trip.


Before hitting the road, make sure to plan ahead and book accommodations in advance. The Pacific Northwest is a popular tourist destination, and lodging can fill up quickly, especially during peak seasons.


Now, let’s dive into the details of this unforgettable one-week Pacific Northwest road trip!


Day 1: Seattle

Your Pacific Northwest adventure begins in the lively city of Seattle. Known for its vibrant arts scene, tech industry, and iconic landmarks, Seattle offers plenty of things to see and do.


Start your day by visiting the iconic Space Needle. This 605-foot tower provides breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountains. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the SkyCity restaurant located at the top of the Space Needle, savoring delicious food while taking in the stunning views.


From there, make your way to Pike Place Market, one of the oldest continuously operated public markets in the United States. Stroll through the bustling stalls filled with fresh produce, seafood, flowers, and artisan goods. Don’t forget to snap a photo with the famous “Public Market Center” sign and visit the original Starbucks store, which opened in 1971.


For lunch, head to the trendy neighborhood of Capitol Hill and explore its diverse culinary scene. Whether you’re in the mood for farm-to-table cuisine, international flavors, or classic American comfort food, you’ll find something to satisfy your taste buds.


In the afternoon, take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront and soak up the views of Elliott Bay. Visit the Seattle Great Wheel, a giant Ferris wheel that offers panoramic views of the city skyline, Puget Sound, and the Olympic Mountains.


Next, delve into Seattle’s rich cultural history at the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) or explore the exhibits at the Chihuly Garden and Glass, showcasing the stunning glass artwork of renowned artist Dale Chihuly.


End your day with a visit to the vibrant neighborhood of Fremont. Known as “The Center of the Universe,” Fremont is home to quirky shops, art installations, and the famous Fremont Troll sculpture. Enjoy a delicious dinner at one of the neighborhood’s eclectic eateries before calling it a day.


Seattle offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to cozy Airbnb rentals. Choose a place to stay that suits your preferences and get a good night’s rest to prepare for the exciting adventures awaiting you on Day 2.


Day 2: Olympic National Park

On Day 2 of your Pacific Northwest road trip, venture west to the enchanting Olympic National Park. This diverse and breathtaking national park is a true gem of the Pacific Northwest.


Start your day by driving to Hurricane Ridge, one of the park’s most popular destinations. Take a scenic hike along one of the many trails, where you’ll be treated to stunning views of the Olympic Mountains, wildflower meadows, and possibly even wildlife sightings. If you’re visiting in the winter, you can also enjoy skiing and snowboarding in this area.


Next, make your way to Lake Crescent, a picturesque glacial lake renowned for its turquoise waters and serene surroundings. Take a leisurely walk along the shoreline, rent a kayak or paddleboard, or simply relax and soak in the natural beauty of the area.


Continue your exploration of Olympic National Park by visiting the Hoh Rainforest. This temperate rainforest is one of the few remaining intact in the United States and is known for its lush greenery, towering trees, and moss-covered landscapes. Take a guided nature walk or venture out on your own along the Hall of Mosses Trail to fully immerse yourself in this magical environment.


As you make your way back towards the park entrance, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the rugged coastline at Rialto Beach. Take a walk along the sandy shores, marvel at the sea stacks, and enjoy the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean.


Finish off your day with a breathtaking sunset at Ruby Beach. This stunning beach is adorned with sea stacks, tide pools, and driftwood, creating a truly picturesque setting. Capture the beauty of the sunset and enjoy a moment of tranquility before heading back to your accommodations.


There are several camping options within Olympic National Park if you want to fully immerse yourself in nature. Alternatively, you can find charming accommodations in nearby towns like Port Angeles or Forks. Rest up and get ready for the next leg of your Pacific Northwest adventure on Day 3.


Day 3: Portland

Day 3 of your Pacific Northwest road trip takes you to the vibrant city of Portland, Oregon. Known for its quirky charm, excellent dining scene, and beautiful parks, Portland offers a unique blend of urban and natural delights.


Start your day by indulging in a delicious breakfast at one of Portland’s famed brunch spots. From mouth-watering pancakes to artisanal coffee, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your taste buds.


After breakfast, take a stroll through Powell’s City of Books, the largest independent bookstore in the world. Lose yourself among rows upon rows of books, and don’t forget to grab a new read to enjoy on the rest of your journey.


Next, make your way to the Portland Japanese Garden, a serene oasis nestled in the heart of the city. Immerse yourself in the peaceful atmosphere as you explore the meticulously manicured gardens, tranquil water features, and traditional Japanese architecture.


For lunch, head to one of Portland’s famous food carts or explore the bustling food scene in the Hawthorne or Alberta neighborhoods. Sample the diverse array of cuisines, from gourmet sandwiches to mouth-watering vegan fare.


In the afternoon, visit the iconic International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park. Marvel at the vibrant colors and fragrant scents as you stroll through the garden, which showcases over 10,000 rose bushes. The best time to visit is during the summer months when the roses are in full bloom.


For a unique cultural experience, make a stop at the Portland Art Museum and explore its extensive collection of artwork, ranging from ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces.


End your day with a visit to the hip and lively Pearl District. This former industrial area has been transformed into a trendy neighborhood filled with art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. Enjoy a delicious dinner at one of the neighborhood’s acclaimed eateries before calling it a day.


Portland offers a range of accommodation options, from boutique hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts. Choose a place to stay in a neighborhood that suits your preferences and get a good night’s rest before continuing your Pacific Northwest adventure.


Day 4: Columbia River Gorge

Day 4 of your Pacific Northwest road trip takes you to the magnificent Columbia River Gorge, a breathtaking river canyon that stretches along the border of Oregon and Washington. With its dramatic waterfalls, scenic viewpoints, and abundance of outdoor activities, the Columbia River Gorge is a must-visit destination.


Start your day by driving east from Portland towards the Columbia River Gorge. Your first stop should be Multnomah Falls, the most famous waterfall in the area. Take the short hike to the bridge that spans the lower part of the falls, or if you’re feeling more adventurous, continue on to the top for a higher vantage point and stunning views of the surrounding gorge.


Continue your waterfall exploration by visiting other notable falls in the area, such as Wahkeena Falls, Horsetail Falls, and Latourell Falls. Each offers its own unique beauty and is easily accessible from the Historic Columbia River Highway.


For a unique perspective of the gorge, take a scenic drive along the historic highway and stop at the many viewpoints along the way. Vista House, located on Crown Point, offers panoramic views of the river and the surrounding landscape. Take some time to admire the stunning vista and learn about the history of the area.


If you’re up for some outdoor adventure, consider hiking one of the many trails in the area. The Eagle Creek Trail is a popular choice, with its lush greenery, waterfalls, and stunning viewpoints. Keep in mind that some trails may have limited accessibility or require permits, so plan accordingly.


As you make your way back to Portland, consider stopping at one of the local wineries in the Columbia River Gorge region. The area has a growing wine industry, and you can enjoy tastings and learn about the unique terroir and varietals produced in the region.


End your day with a relaxing dinner in one of the charming towns along the gorge, such as Hood River or Cascade Locks. Sample local cuisine and soak in the stunning scenery as you reflect on the beauty of the Columbia River Gorge.


After a long day of exploration, head back to your accommodations in Portland or consider staying in one of the charming lodges or bed and breakfasts in the Columbia River Gorge area for a more immersive experience.


Day 5: Mount Rainier National Park

Day 5 of your Pacific Northwest road trip takes you to the majestic Mount Rainier National Park. Home to the iconic Mount Rainier, the park offers breathtaking scenery, pristine wilderness, and a myriad of outdoor activities.


Start your day early and make your way to the Sunrise Visitor Center, located on the northeastern side of the park. From here, you can embark on a range of hikes that showcase stunning alpine meadows, panoramic views, and the awe-inspiring Mount Rainier itself. Take the time to explore trails such as the Sourdough Ridge Trail or the Sunrise Rim Trail, each offering its own unique beauty.


After your hike, enjoy a picnic lunch amidst the natural splendor of the park. Take in the fresh mountain air and serene surroundings as you refuel and recharge for the rest of the day.


In the afternoon, drive to the Paradise area of the park, known for its stunning vistas and lush meadows. Visit the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center, where you can learn about the geology, wildlife, and history of Mount Rainier. Take a leisurely stroll along the famous Skyline Trail, which offers breathtaking views of the mountain and the surrounding landscapes.


If you’re up for a more adventurous activity, consider joining a ranger-led tour or exploring the park’s extensive network of trails. Whether you opt for a gentle stroll or a challenging hike, there are options for all fitness levels and interests.


For a unique and memorable experience, consider taking a guided tour to the Nisqually Vista or Paradise Glacier. These tours offer insight into the park’s natural and cultural history, and provide an opportunity to explore some of the more remote and less frequented areas of Mount Rainier National Park.


End your day with a memorable dinner at one of the park’s lodges or head back to the nearby towns outside the park for a delicious meal. Reflect on the beauty and grandeur of Mount Rainier as you rest and prepare for the next day of your Pacific Northwest adventure.


If you wish to stay within the park, there are several lodging options available, including one of the historic lodges or campsites. Alternatively, you can find accommodations in nearby towns such as Ashford or Enumclaw.


Day 6: Vancouver, Canada

Day 6 of your Pacific Northwest road trip takes you north of the border to the vibrant city of Vancouver, Canada. Known for its stunning natural beauty, diverse cultural scene, and delicious cuisine, Vancouver offers a unique blend of urban and outdoor adventures.


Start your day by crossing the border and making your way to Stanley Park, a sprawling urban green space located right in the heart of the city. Take a leisurely bike ride or stroll along the seawall, enjoying panoramic views of the Vancouver skyline, the mountains, and the Pacific Ocean. Don’t forget to visit the iconic totem poles and explore the gardens and trails within the park.


Next, venture to Granville Island, a vibrant hub of food, art, and culture. Explore the famous Granville Island Public Market, where you can sample local delicacies, browse artisanal products, and enjoy live music performances. Take some time to wander through the island’s galleries and boutiques, and perhaps even catch a show at the Granville Island Theatre.


For lunch, indulge in some of Vancouver’s renowned international cuisine. From fresh seafood to Asian fusion, the city offers a diverse range of dining options to suit any palate.


In the afternoon, explore the historic district of Gastown, known for its cobblestone streets, Victorian architecture, and trendy shops. Be sure to stop by the famous steam clock and snap a photo to commemorate your visit. While in Gastown, take the opportunity to discover hidden gems, such as local art galleries, boutique shops, and craft breweries.


Continue your Vancouver adventure by visiting the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. This world-class museum showcases the art and cultural artifacts of indigenous peoples from across Canada and around the world.


As evening approaches, make your way to the vibrant neighborhood of Yaletown. Known for its trendy restaurants and bars, this is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious dinner and toast to a memorable day in Vancouver.


If you have time, consider exploring more areas of Vancouver, such as the trendy neighborhoods of Kitsilano and Commercial Drive, or taking a scenic walk along English Bay Beach.


There are plenty of accommodations in Vancouver to suit all budgets and preferences. Whether you choose to stay in a luxury hotel downtown or opt for a cozy Airbnb in one of the city’s charming residential neighborhoods, you’re sure to find the perfect place to rest up for the final day of your Pacific Northwest road trip.


Day 7: San Juan Islands

On the final day of your Pacific Northwest road trip, discover the enchanting San Juan Islands. This archipelago, located off the coast of Washington State, is known for its scenic beauty, charming coastal towns, and abundant wildlife.


Start your day by catching a ferry from Anacortes to the main island of San Juan Island. Enjoy the scenic ride as you make your way through the Salish Sea, keeping an eye out for whales and other marine life that frequent the area.


Once you arrive, head to the picturesque town of Friday Harbor, the main hub of San Juan Island. Explore the quaint shops, art galleries, and local cafes that line the waterfront. Visit the Whale Museum to learn about the fascinating marine life that inhabits the surrounding waters.


Next, embark on a whale-watching tour to see the majestic orca whales that call the San Juan Islands home. These tours offer a unique opportunity to witness these incredible creatures in their natural habitat. Keep your camera ready as the playful dolphins and seals may also make appearances during the tour.


After the whale-watching tour, take a leisurely drive to Lime Kiln Point State Park, also known as “Whale Watch Park.” This scenic park offers stunning views of the water and is one of the best spots in the world for land-based whale watching. Keep an eye out for whales breaching and feeding close to the shoreline.


For lunch, enjoy a picnic at one of the island’s beautiful parks, such as South Beach or Jackson Beach. Breathe in the fresh sea air and embrace the tranquility of the surroundings.


In the afternoon, explore the natural beauty of San Juan Island by visiting places like the San Juan Islands Sculpture Park or American Camp and English Camp, which are historic sites with scenic trails and views.


If you’re interested in local history and culture, take a visit to the San Juan County Historical Museum, located in the town of Friday Harbor. Here, you can learn about the fascinating history of the San Juan Islands and the people who have called them home.


As the day winds down, treat yourself to a delicious seafood dinner at one of the island’s charming waterfront restaurants. Indulge in fresh local ingredients and savor the flavors of the Pacific Northwest.


After dinner, catch the ferry back to the mainland with memories of the stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and unique charm of the San Juan Islands.


As your Pacific Northwest road trip comes to an end, reflect on the incredible journey you’ve had, immersing yourself in the natural beauty, rich culture, and unforgettable experiences of the region.



Congratulations! You have completed the ultimate one-week Pacific Northwest road trip, exploring the diverse and captivating destinations of this stunning region. From the bustling streets of Seattle to the tranquil islands of the San Juan archipelago, you’ve experienced the best that the Pacific Northwest has to offer.


Throughout this journey, you’ve immersed yourself in the natural beauty of Olympic National Park, hiked through the awe-inspiring Columbia River Gorge, marveled at the majestic Mount Rainier, embraced the vibrant culture of Portland, and ventured across the border to explore the charming city of Vancouver, Canada.


The Pacific Northwest is a place of endless discovery, offering a blend of stunning landscapes, vibrant cities, and a rich cultural heritage. You’ve witnessed towering mountains, lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and picturesque coastlines. You’ve savored diverse cuisines, experienced vibrant arts scenes, and connected with the friendly locals who call this region home.


As your road trip comes to an end, take a moment to reflect on the memories you’ve created, the adventures you’ve embarked upon, and the sights and sounds that have left lasting impressions. The Pacific Northwest offers a lifetime of exploration, and this one-week itinerary has only scratched the surface of what this incredible region has to offer.


Remember, this itinerary can be customized and extended to fit your preferences and interests. There are countless other destinations to discover, from the rugged beauty of the Oregon Coast to the stunning beauty of the North Cascades National Park.


Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a food lover, an art aficionado, or simply seeking adventure, the Pacific Northwest has something for everyone. So, grab your car keys, hit the road, and let the magic of the Pacific Northwest continue to inspire and captivate you.


Safe travels, and may your future explorations be filled with incredible experiences and unforgettable memories!